Tokyo Dev

Developer jobs in Japan Developer Life in Japan

Interviews + Landing the Job


#1

I’m a recent graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Information Science degree focused on Web Development, and have about 3 years professional experience as a Web Developer and 2 years as an IT Worker before that.

My thesis was on Virtual Reality learning and I have a huge interest in EdTech… Hoping to get back to Japan (I exchanged at a University in Tokyo) and also looking to gain some insight into education from the educators perspective, I took a job teaching English. That said, this is not a career nor is it a good use of my background long-term.

Over the next year I hope to develop a new/better portfolio and do some free-lance work, as-well as start contributing to open-source projects in preparation for finding a WebDev job in Tokyo (or North Kanto). That said, I’m absolutely terrified of the interview. While I worked myself to a more involved position in my web dev job, I was hired as an Entry Level candidate and at the time just had to show a working knowledge of HTML/CSS. I do know PHP, c#, and am pretty decent at Javascript, though I might be more front-end leaning than back-end. I also understand the stack and unix commands to a degree.

What can I expect from interviews for being a Web Dev (even entry) in Tokyo? Will there be white board tests? How prepared should I be?

tldr;

I’d greatly appreciate any advice or information on what the interview process for your Tokyo Dev job was like.

Thanks for reading! I know I’m a long winded individual.


#2

Hi, I just finished my interview trip in Tokyo. Here is what I experienced,

If you’re looking for an entry position in big traditional company, there won’t be any code testing, some of them even don’t care about you can code or not. Also the salary level is about same level with new graduate job. Rakuten is an exception if you can’t speak Japanese fluently now I do recommend it.

For new graduate job in well funded startups, mostly there won’t be any code testing but if you have a good Github profile that helps a lot. The problem for that is it’s not international enough, you have to speak very good Japanese during the interview process. Mostly they ask questions like

why do you want to become an web developer,
Why do you want to work in Japan, ``
What do you want to do in 3 or 5 years if you work in our company

It’s not hard to pass the interviews as long as you can express your thoughts in Japanese.
But select a good company is important, some of them are startup but their organization is like big company and have much overworking. You need to look into the office and see the atmosphere.

I also received interviews from small companies that needs experienced developer. They have code test and look at you Github profile. And salary is due to your skill level. But it’s hard to tell their company culture if you don’t actually visit the company. It’s tricky. One funny thing is that I asked the interviewer How much overworking does your company have? He answered We absolutely have no overworking, we start from 10 am and until 9 pm most of us come back, It’s funny because they think working for 10 hours day is considered as overworking.

Make sure ask about overworking and make declarations about overworking. Also paying attention to what questions they ask you during the interview process, that indicates what kind of people they’re looking for and what kind of culture their company is making.

If you’re confident with your skills, go to meetups or seminar and networking. Maybe someone’s company is hiring.

Also the salary part is tricky, some offers include overworking part while some don’t, some base salaries is low but they pay for your renting, some may not give bonus but their base salary is high.

Hope that helps.


#3

Thanks! I hadn’t considered thinking about the company in the interview too. So that’s really thoughtful!

Good to know. I never learned syntax past HTML/CSS. When I got into languages I put my efforts into memorizing what loops, data-types, etc, are, so that logically I can think of how to tackle a web app/program. I let the IDE’s do the heavy lifting on Syntax… the result is I can quickly whip something together but my guess is that without knowing a language inside out this isn’t efficient in terms of the program…

What kind of salary should an entry level job be for Web Developers? I notice lots of Gaijinpot jobs claim 3million a year, and that was without good benefits or paid for housing. Those seem a little sketchy to me to be getting such a low wage, even for an entry developer.

I’m a PHP guy, with c# experience too, but I’m going to spend the next year doubling down on JS/Node or Ruby/RoR. Since I’ll be in Japan I’m guessing Ruby is the gem here. Hehe. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Last question to anyone is, does such a thing between entry/middle exist for developers?


#4

I’m really happy that my experience helps!

3 million a year is even too low for an entry job, but do notice that Japanese salary calculation is sometimes tricky, pay attention to if it includes overtime or not.

If you’re not in a hurry to find a developer position in Japan, then spending more time shape your skills might be better, even if you’re aiming at junior position, having your own project in Github is desirable, you’re going to have more choice in that condition.

If you’re in a hurry to find a job, look for companies that use advanced technology stacks (like newly built ones), you can surely learn a lot from working. But pay attention not every startup in Japan is with good culture, ask them how much overworking they have, if they pay for overworking or not (From my experience, companies don’t pay overworking less than 45 hours a month tend to work long hours. These companies tend to dry out every energy from you, you won’t be able to spend spare time to learn more since you have less free time). You can find these company information from www.wantedly.com. If you’re currently staying in Japan now, going to their office and see how they work, skill levels of your future colleges is important.

Also, if you join local Ruby communities(Ruby is very popular in Japanese startup) , there will be more chance to find a company which is hiring.

There is a difference between entry/middle between hiring, usually new graduate is entry, 3 years experience is middle(hopefully). For middle level, www.green-japan.com posts much recruit info on that.

Good luck!